South Netherlandish

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14

The monumental classicizing figure style and the soft tubular drapery typify the transitional style of about 1200. The masterful rendering of this object has led scholars to associate it with the work of Nicholas of Verdun, an outstanding goldsmith of the period. The figures are generally thought to represent Solomon and the queen of Sheba, but they also have been interpreted as Ahasuerus and Esther. A similar clasp was excavated at Dune in Gotland; although the style is different, parallels in iconography suggest a common traditional source. The clasp probably was intended as a girdle or cloak closure.

Clasp, Copper alloy, gilding, South Netherlandish

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